Category: 3) Funnies
A valuable gem*, and one well worth experimenting with, is InstaGrok – a search engine with a few differences.
“What do you want to learn about?” is the enticing question on the front page. Choose the level of results you’re looking for, along the scale from beginner to genius, and then start exploring.
The initial search is a bit like a cross between VisuWords and WordSift – a malleable, click-able, drag-able spider’s web of connected results. Alongside this, there are connected key facts, web pages, videos, images, other related concepts and even quizzes around the subject.
InstaGrok collates the sites you have been to, and sets you up a journal to record your investigations. As a way to organise some detailed research, or a way to discover alternative pages to the ones brought up by traditional searches, this can prove fruitful.
This is a useful tool, for children of many ages, and abilities. It can have some limitations in certain searches, but provides a rich and fascinating alternative route through internet “finds” and resources. Go Grok!
(* and one we’re surprised we haven’t mentioned earlier).
Following our Senior Roving Reporter’s account of her intrepid incursion of Planet Earth in quest of information on the outrageous theft of the magic flute of Giant Grimface, which is regarded as a national musical treasure by us all, we hear of an even more alarming discovery of great perfidy committed by this same earthman criminal in that it appears he managed to gain access to our most sacred inner sanctum, the Circle of the Secret Globes.
This “Mr. Ryelands” as he has chosen to name himself, though we believe this to be an alias, was encountered by our gracious Princess who, in her customary friendly and accepting nature, believed him to be about his lawful business.
Thus she introduced this interloper to our royal golden lizard and was not warned by the scuttling exit in alarm by this creature.
Encouraged by the warm interest of the visitor in the dazzling gem hung around her neck, she explained that it was a gift from her father, the King, thus revealing her identity, & trustingly beckoned him onwards.
Instead of following, the criminal turned on his heels and, with a gadget in his hand that is thought to be a Google-associated key of some sort disarmingly called a “mouse,” he clicked open the doors to our Innermost Retreat and proceeded to make a mental record of everything within. Noticing our Bureau of the Most Secret, it appears from later investigation that he actually opened the hidden drawer before being disturbed by the noise of approaching guards & making his getaway.
What is not yet known, and of great disquiet, is what he actually saw and recorded of our most revered items of national security and way of life.
This is “restricted” matter so that we are not able to report further upon what rested within the drawer. Be assured that, when this crime has been successfully resolved, our readers will be the first to be informed of the outcome. For the time being, there will be no further information.
Dear Mr. Tim Rylands,
I suspect that, when you visited Wilton and Barford Primary school in the company of an extremely holey walking stick of odd appearance, you were not entirely honest about the stick’s provenance. From a very reliable source who must remain anonymous, I hear that a certain Giant Grimface in a far distant mountainous region had his magic flute, of all things, removed from his castle following his rather vicious beating administered with the flute to a lazy servant, and somehow this much prized possession was secreted under the scarlet cloak of a creature of human countenance who slipped away under cover of darkness, never again to be seen in the Darklands. Later on, the trailing stems of a sturdy bean plant were discovered protruding from a dark hole leading down into the area known as Planet Earth.
As an intrepid reporter, I took it upon myself to follow this trail with great caution down to Planet Earth, to a corner of an area named Wiltshire previously known as part of the realm of Wessex in a rather delightful green island whose name was not known to me. The twisted stems led me to an establishment containing many young earthlings under tuition. Disguised as an earthbound creature myself, I discovered a large room of these earthlings listening attentively to an earthman who was displaying what I recognised immediately as the missing flute in front of a large picture of our blessed Darklands, claiming that the flute was (horrors) a walking stick. By observation and acute listening, I discovered that the earthman was named Mr, Rylands. Not wishing to be the cause of alarm among the young earthlings, I slipped away & retraced my steps.
What is not generally understood among the constellations is that Darklands has a good connection to the cyber clouds in which resides the wonder Google. Hence I am able to communicate my intense wish that you return the precious flute to its rightful owner. Giant Grimface is not always of good temper I must admit, but I must report that he is far more agreeable when he has his magic flute to play so that he can watch the trees dancing to his tunes and the birds flying a beautiful aerial ballet. Since you require a walking stick, I have attached a most serviceable and attractive one to a length of rope you will find dangling in a corner of the earthling school gardens, and I humbly beg you to tie our beloved flute to that same rope so that I can return it to its master. From this act, I shall obtain an exalted position at the office of the Darklands Gazette and there will be much rejoicing in our land.
Paula of the Red Hair, (Senior Roving Correspondent, Darklands Gazette)(Thank you to Paula Hargreaves, also a governor at Wilton and Barford Primary school, for joining the mythological spirit of our visit). Mr Walker is on his way, (Yes. Really!) though he may have lost his song, … ready to be raised for some rightful rest.
I am aware that policemen are getting younger and younger these days. Teachers too.
But, as reported on the BBC News website, the medical profession is obviously getting desperate for new recruits:
Others can be found, almost every day, at Crash Blossoms.com.
For no other reason that it is an inspiring and creative use of robotics… and the fact that the workings from a scanner can be the soloist in a band. I also love the fact that bd594 had originally planned his band, EOL, to play a version of “Mad World” when, ironically, the cyber cello went mad and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, play the long notes! A great film to play as inspiration for an ICT control and monitoring unit. Next, on the main stage: printers and whisks do Elvis!
This did make me sit up and think when a, somewhat startling, message appeared as I deleted a profile proforma about an upcoming conference…
Today we had a very enjoyable time at the Education Development Centre in Spennymoor, Durham, for a training day with staff from 8 schools coming together from two previous cluster groups.
With the new film “Anonymous” questioning whether the works of William Shakespeare’s were all “a fraud” and the fascinating event, a while back and reignited recently, of Sir Derek Jacobi, and others, questioning the authorship of much, if not all, of The Bard’s works (HERE and HERE) I was reminded of the natty “Shakepseare Insult Kit” or “Taunter”
You might want to take a look at the insulter but I don’t reckon you can take it…
…You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!
(Henry IV, part I)
Really fun to be back in the world of digits. But, even though they can bring such incredible, wondrous, joyful surprises, it was still gorgeous to have a bit of a break from computers this summer. I would heartily recommend it.
A few thoughts from Almost Analogue August:
- How do I set a laser printer to stun?
- There is more than one satisfying way to boot a computer
- All computers run at the same speed… with the power off
I mean… it’s not as if they’re real, or feel anything… is it?!!!
Or do they?… Meet Dominique:
After a couple of weeks of travelling through Europe, we are so, so grateful to everybody we have met, for speaking OUR language. Thanks all for your excellent English.